Heeding the call from educators across the nation, the U.S. Department of Education launched its Doing What Works (DWW) initiative in Fall 2007.  Designed to equip educators with the tools, resources and support they need to implement research-based practices, DWW will assist states, districts, and schools to take action.  Topic areas being developed for DWW include English language learners, Cognition & Learning, Early Childhood Education, High School Reform, Literacy, Math & Science, and School Restructuring.  You can view the DWW website at http://dww.ed.gov

One of the current development efforts is focused on the Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, with two areas being developed, the first of which is Critical Foundations of Mathematics Pre-K-8, and the second will focus on major topics in Algebra for secondary education. 

RMC Research Corporation, in partnership with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and WestEd, is leading the development efforts for Critical Foundations of Mathematics Pre-K-8.  An Overview of the U.S. Department of Education's NCLB Doing What Works (DWW) Initiative provides additional information.

As part of our development efforts, we are trying to identify schools and/or districts that we would be able to work with as sites that have demonstrated success as measured by the following criteria:

Schools profiled on the DWW website must demonstrate student achievement in mathematics that meets the requirements of adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind.

In addition, the school setting must meet three of the four following criteria:

  1. The PreK-8 mathematics curriculum focuses on a limited number of key critical topics and prepares students for success in Algebra.  This is measured through a review of the school/district scope and sequence for mathematics focusing on fluency with whole numbers, algorithms, problem-solving, and fractions as well as aspects of measurement and geometry that prepare students for Algebra.  This could include recent alignment of the school/district curriculum with NCTM Curriculum Focal Points.
  2. The student achievement in mathematics, as measured by valid and reliable instruments, shows higher levels of student performance at the advanced and proficient levels than state averages.  This is measured through a review of school/district achievement data as reported to the state department of education for purposes of meeting adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind. 
  3.  The school or district (depending on grade configuration) shows               50% or more students enrolled in Algebra at the 8th grade level and an increasing proportion enrolled over the past 2-3 years.  A review of student achievement and enrollment data shows an increase in the proportion of students taking Algebra I at the 8th grade level.
  4. The success rate of students completing Algebra in 8th grade has shown continued increases over a two-year period.  A review of student enrollment data and student grades shows increases in the percentage of students demonstrating success in Algebra I at the 8th grade level over at least a two-year period.

    The purpose of this email is to ask your help in identifying schools and/or districts that you know meet the above criteria, for which you can complete and submit the DWW nomination form

    Please email your nomination to me at: sutton@rmcdenver.com by COB on April 15, 2008.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at (800) 922-3636. 

    Thanks for your assistance.

    John T. Sutton, Ph.D.

    Senior Research Associate

    RMC Research Corporation

    1512 Larimer St., Suite 540

    Denver, CO 80202

    (800) 922-3636

    Fax: (303) 825-1626